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Two cartel regimes. Swedish paper cartels and the EEC in the 1970s

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Birgit Karlsson
Publicerad i Scandinavian Economic History Review
ISSN 0358-5522
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Institutionen för ekonomi och samhälle, Ekonomisk historia
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1080/03585522.2019.17...
Ämnesord Cartels, legitimacy, paper industry, tariffs, industry, pulp, Business & Economics
Ämneskategorier Ekonomi och näringsliv

Sammanfattning

In 1973 Sweden entered into a free-trade agreement with the EEC. This meant that the EEC principle of prohibition of cartels met with the Swedish principle of abuse. Paper production was heavily cartelised in Sweden and Scandinavian export cartels exercised a strong influence over EEC markets. The problem is analysed in terms of legitimacy - how did the Swedish actors make their claims legitimate? When analysing the arguments used in the negotiations it becomes clear that the Swedish negotiators claimed that paper cartels and no tariffs provided more general utility whereas the EEC argument was that cartels were principally wrong and that the EEC utility was more important than the potential general utility. Since Sweden did not have the upper hand in the discussions the outcome became that the Scandinavian export cartels were formally dismantled and free trade for paper products had to wait for 11 years. When it comes to the actual effects, Swedish paper export could continue in much the same way as before. A process initiated by EC against the Scandinavian newspaper cartels ended up in a compromise founded on a common skepticism towards North American producers.

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